“Apple picking?” Pete said like it was a dumb idea. “What are we, kids? Come on. Let’s just go get a few drinks somewhere.”
“We’re both 35-years-old,” Kate said to him. She spoke confidently and looked at him like she knew how to stand up for herself. “So I think we’re a little old to be just going out to a bar in the middle of the afternoon and getting drunk too. Come try apple picking with me. I think you’ll have fun. When was the last time that you did it?”
“Let’s see, I’m 35,” he said with a mocking tone. “I don’t know, maybe when I was like FIVE.” She laughed and looked so beautiful when she did.
“I’ll tell you what,” she said. “Why don’t we have a little competition to settle this? Winner determines what we do. I’ll arm-wrestle you for it. What do you say?”
Kate was tall for a woman, standing at 5’9, but she was lean and couldn’t have weight more than 135 pounds. She wore a red long-sleeved flannel shirt and he couldn’t see her arms but they looked thin to him. He didn’t know if she was being flirtatious or deep down inside she wanted to go to the bar as well, but he couldn’t think of a challenge that she could have picked that would be easier for him.
“Alright, if that’s what you want to do,” he said. “Sounds good to me.”
She smiled at him, somewhat seductively, as she moved towards the coffee table using her left hand to brush her hair out of her face as she put her right arm on the table in the arm-wrestling position. She sure seemed confident in herself. Pete sat across from her and as they locked hands he felt how soft and nice her hand felt. He looked forward to holding her hand as they left the bar later with a buzz on as opposed to under these circumstances.
“Ready,” she said as she raised her eyebrows at him. “One, two, three, go!”
He tried to push her arm and he could feel her resistance in his bicep as he couldn’t move her arm. She smiled at him and he gave an uncomfortable smile back, not expecting this to be difficult. He pushed harder and her arm wouldn’t move but he could feel more pain in his bicep while he pushed harder. That bicep pain was bruising his male ego.
They stayed in that position a bit longer, his arm starting to shake a bit, while she still looked cool and calm. His arm shook more as now he felt he was just trying to hold her off rather than actually beat her. She was wearing him down and she started to push his arm down. He was losing. This wasn’t possible. His arm actually felt like it was getting numb as she pushed his arm down easier the more time that passed and he couldn’t do anything about it. She pinned his hand to the table for the victory and smiled knowing they’d be going apple picking.
He watched her excitedly walking up to the first tree. Times had definitely changed for him. It didn’t seem like long ago that the girls he was going on dates with girls had spent hours doing their hair, were covered in makeup, and wore dresses and high heels. Kate didn’t look like she had spent much time on her long, wavy hair but it looked natural and it looked great. The flannel shirt, tight jeans, and white sneakers she was wearing definitely wasn’t the kind of attire he was used to a girl he was on a date with wearing, though he had to admit that her lower body with those long legs looked great in those tight jeans. He knew his buddies would definitely be busting his chops for spending his afternoon doing this. He couldn’t help but resent her a bit for beating him in arm-wrestling and making it so he had to be here. This trip was a reminder that she had proven to be stronger than him.
“Better find a tree quick,” she turned around and said to him. “Otherwise, I’m going to get all of the good apples.”
“So that was a lot of fun,” she said to him once they were back at her house. “Did you enjoy yourself?”
“Yeah, it wasn’t bad,” he lied. “So I’ll catch up with you later?”
“I have nothing going on tonight,” she said. “If you want to hang out with me some more.”
“Can we go to a bar now?” he said. “I feel like I could use a drink after that.”
“You sure you want a drink? I make the best apple pie. I’d love to make one for us.”
“I think I’d prefer the drink. Think I’ve had enough of apples for the day.”
“Well I’m pretty worn out from the apple picking,” she said and he started getting annoyed. He had already done what she wanted to do once and he figured it should be his turn to pick. “I’d much rather cook us an apple pie and have you rub my feet for me. Why don’t we arm-wrestle to decide?”
“That’s not fair,” he said. She chuckled. She was really starting to get under his skin.
“I would have thought you would have wanted a chance at a rematch,” she said proudly. “Already conceding that you know I can beat you?”
If she already beat him once he didn’t think there was any way he’d be able to beat her this time. But his male ego wouldn’t allow him to admit that and she knew it. He kneeled back down at the coffee table and put his right arm on the table in position. She did the same and as they locked hands she looked like she had no doubt that she was going to win and that she was glad to be able to prove that to him.
“Ready?” she said. “Go.”
He pushed at her arm and this time there was no period of them struggling in the neutral position. She immediately took control and began bringing his arm down with ease. He could really feel the pain in his bicep as he watched her feminine hand and thin arm in that flannel shirt prove to be stronger than his arm as she took it down. Without much effort she was able to pin his hand again for another victory. Her smile was so beautiful but it drove him crazy that he couldn’t beat her.
“Looks like we are staying here,” she said. She got up on the couch and sat with her legs stretched out across it and her back leaning against the armrest. “You can start by rubbing my feet.”
“Why don’t you make the pie first?” he said. She looked at him with a smile but she looked like she didn’t appreciate what he said.
“Excuse me?” she said, her tone sounding a bit appalled. “I won so I choose what we do. My feet are hurting from apple picking. I want you to rub them first. Then I’ll make the pie.” He would have been fine just leaving right then but it was too late. He was already obligated.
“Alright, take your shoes off,” he said. She didn’t move. She put her hands behind her head.
“You take them off,” she said. “That’s part of rubbing my feet.”
She was just degrading him now. Already kneeling from the arm-wrestling match, he crawled over to her feet. He loosened up the laces on them and began pulling her sneakers off. He expected her feet to smell since she had been apple picking all day but when he pulled her socks off they smelled like they were fresh out of the dryer. Other than a little bit of grass stain on the cuff of each one they were bright white like they were brand new. He grabbed her right foot and began rubbing it.
“No,” she said and he pulled it away. He hoped that meant she had just been messing with him and that she wasn’t going to make him do this. “Take my socks off too.”
He grabbed the cuff of her sock with both hands and began pulling it off. It was hard to pull off somewhat because her foot seemed a bit sweaty, but mostly because the sock was tight to her foot. She looked amused as she watched the effort it took him to get it off. When he finally got it off she wiggled her socked toes on her other foot reminding him to do that one as well. He did the same and it took him just as long. Now he had her two bare soles looking right at him, letting him know what he had to do since he lost to her. He grabbed her bare foot and began massaging it.
“You better get to the gym tomorrow and start working out that bicep,” she said to him. “Otherwise, you’re going to be doing a whole lot of what I want.”